Working with the maker of the eTAPE16 Bluetooth tape measure, we developed a companion app called eTAPE Construction. The app reads in Bluetooth measurements from the Bluetooth connected tape measure, automatically building a cut list as the user measures. The transfer is instantaneous, saving the user time and eliminating measuring error. We developed the app on Android and iOS, and it's currently available on both platforms. Our expertise with integrating multiple systems enables us to quickly develop software that incorporates many hardware components, and we can support a variety of platforms from Android and iOS to embedded systems. More specifically, we have built up a Bluetooth measurement library for Android that enables us to quickly bring in new sensors and extend to new applications. We also have experience incorporating other APIs like cloud databases, file sharing, speech recognition, and more.
Mining Surround View
You may have seen surround view systems in newer cars. This proof-of-concept surround view system was developed for the mining trucks that move mountains of dirt and ore at large, open-pit mines. The system uses four, ultra-wide-angle cameras mounted around the mining truck, and stitches the videos together to form a single, 360-degree view around the truck. The mining truck's operator can see everything around the truck at a single glance, providing superior operational awareness. This system uses open source software including OpenCV, plus custom code, all implemented on an embedded display inside the cab of the mining truck.
Autoset. The Smart Miter Saw Fence.
Autoset is a tool for building contractors and woodworkers for improving the precision and speed of cutting material with a miter saw. The tool consists of a carriage that rides along a rail attached to the base of the saw with a simple bracket. Attached to the carriage is a stop for the user's workpiece. When the correct cut length is reached by the carriage, it locks into place and indicates to the user that a cut is ready to be made. The user then pushes his or her workpiece against the stop and makes a cut with the miter saw. Autoset even uses Bluetooth to connect to a mobile app to download cut lists. In fact the entire unit can be controlled with the app if the user wants.
We developed Autoset from the ground up, starting with very basic prototypes, and ending up with a manufacturable design. We specified and sourced 3rd-party components. We designed the mechanical structure, function, and arrangement of components. We designed the electronics. We wrote the firmware. And, we worked with our partner industrial designer to create an injection-moldable housing. We believe in user-driven development, and our design process included user testing to ensure we included the right feature set.
This proof-of-concept tablet app was developed for the pre-stressed concrete industry. When pre-stressed concrete beams are made, there is a rigorous QC process that takes place, ensuring each dimension of the beam, including the overall dimensions, the placement of rebar, and the locations of brackets and anchors, are all placed according to the design specification. The Concrete QC app works with Bluetooth measuring devices, either tape measures or laser distance meters, to streamline this QC process. The app imports a drawing and reads the dimensions to be checked. As the user makes measurements with the measuring device, the app checks the dimensions against the drawing. When all the measurements are complete, a report is generated and stored, enabling instant traceability.
We developed the app for Android tablets, using our internal Bluetooth device library, 3rd-party APIs for email, office document, and cloud integration, and an API for Trimble's Tekla CAD software for importing drawings and reading dimensions.